Category Archives: Uncategorized

Eduardo Vianna, developmental educator, profiled in NY Times

  Vygotskian educator Eduardo Vianna is profiled today in The New York Times for his empathic, effective work as a college instructor at LaGuardia Community College.  You can read reporter Ginia Bellafante’s Raising Ambitions, The Challenge of Teaching at Community Colleges HERE. The profile captures Dr. … Continue reading

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‘Performing the World 2014’ investigates: How shall we become?

More than 400 participants from 34 countries attended Performing the World 2014 (PTW) at the All Stars Project’s national headquarters in New York City. The biennial autumn conference, co-sponsored by the Institute and All Stars Project, Inc., brought together performance activists, educators, therapists, … Continue reading

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International educators discover ‘spaces to become a head taller’

Educators from the US and several other countries, in town for the 11th International Transformative Learning Conference, at Teachers College, Columbia University, spent a pre-conference afternoon with Institute director Lois Holzman. Her workshop, entitled Spaces to Become A Head Taller introduced the Vygotskian-influenced, performatory … Continue reading

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A ‘Revolutionary Vygotsky’ takes the stage at ISCAR Summit in Sydney

The Institute’s director of pedagogy and Rutgers Univ. early childhood education faculty Carrie Lobman was among presenters at The 4th Congress of the International Society for Cultural and Activity Research in Sydney, Australia. The conference drew some 400 scholars and researchers in the … Continue reading

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Play’s the Thing in Japan

Institute Director Lois Holzman recently returned from an invited speaking tour to Japan organized by colleagues there with whom she has been building relationships since her first visit to Japan organized in 2012 by Professor Yuji Moro of the University of Tsukuba. Moro was … Continue reading

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New film by Ishita Sanyal “Opens the Doors” on mental illness in India

This report just in from 2008 International Class alumna Ishita Sanyal (second-from-right in photo above). Her new documentary film project, Open the Doors, which she co-directed with Abhishek Ganguli, recently premiered at the Birla Industrial and Technological Museum in Kolkata.  Special guests on hand for the premiere included American Consul … Continue reading

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Lobman in Kobe Japan at invitation of Dr. Hiroyuki Imai

An enthusiastic Performing the World 2012 participant and Institute colleague, Dr.       Hiroyuki Imai (professor on the Faculty of Foreign Language Studies at Kansai University, Osaka, Japan) was eager to make a creative match:  He sought to bring together Japanese educators working in … Continue reading

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Lobman keynotes education reform conference in Brazil

Institute pedagogical director Carrie Lobman was a recent keynote speaker at the International Conference on Cultural-Historical Theory and Human Development: Key Issues for School Education, at the Universidade Estadual Paulista in Marilia, Brazil, and organized by the University’s Association of … Continue reading

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“Beyond the Therapeutic State” — Time to Advance an Alternative Therapies Movement

  How do we bring together critique (of traditional psychologies) and (innovative, non-diagnostic) practice? That question is being asked more and more frequently and urgently the world over. About 200 psychologists, researchers and therapists gathered in Norway in June at Beyond the … Continue reading

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Another International Class collaboration: Celiane Carmargo-Borges and Peter Nsubuga

This report just in from International Class (2008-9) alumna Celiane Camargo-Borges, recounting her recent trip to Uganda to volunteer with  Hope for Youth Uganda, founded by fellow International Class colleague Peter Nsubuga. Celiane, a Brazilian psychologist living and working in the Netherlands, met … Continue reading

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Performing the World International Organizing Cttee Raises Funds to Bring Activists to NYC

The Performing the World 2014  International Organizing Committee has been doing a great job publicizing the October 10-12 conference. This month they took on a new task—raising travel funds for participants.  They’re especially focused on those living in countries in Africa, South … Continue reading

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Developments in Ciudad Juárez

International Class alums Miguel Cortes, Jorge Burciaga and Institute colleague Mariana Soledad Loya Parra  report on developments at  El Centro Fred Newman Para la Terapia Social — the independent therapy and community center they’ve built over the last five years in Juárez … Continue reading

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Lobman, Perone, O’Neill boost performance activism at The Association for the Study of Play

That’s play maven and longtime Institute colleague and educator Tony Perone (4th from l.) and Institute pedagogy director and play-pal Carrie Lobman (6th from l.) in the pointy-green elf hats — taking a bow after a performance at annual conference of The … Continue reading

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Holzman recipient of lifetime achievement award from AERA Cultural Historical Research SIG

  The Cultural Historical Research Special Interest Group (SIG) of the American Educational Research Association has named Lois Holzman as the recipient of its prestigious lifetime achievement award. Holzman’s award will be presented at the AERA annual meeting in Chicago, 2015, where she will deliver an … Continue reading

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Lobman introduces Newman/Holzman to hundreds of educators and psychologists in Brazil

  At the invitation of longtime colleagues Fernanda Liberali, Cecelia Magalhaes and MuriloMocheta, the Institute’s pedagogical director Carrie Lobman spent ten days in São Paolo and Maringa, Brazil, introducing social therapeutic methodology to 225 therapists, special education teachers, public school teachers and psychologists. Lobman’s tour is the latest … Continue reading

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International Class alumni partner to bring art and development to Ciudad Juárez

This just in from International Class (2012/13) alumna and PTW 2014 Organizing Committee powerhouse, Sandra Paola Lopez, reporting on a recent collaboration with fellow International Class colleagues in Juarez, Mexico: This March, in2improv joined efforts with the Fred Newman Center to bring a … Continue reading

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Lots to look-up in Thomas Teo’s Encyclopedia of Critical Psychology

Congratulations to Thomas Teo on the release of the Encyclopedia of Critical Psychology, for which he served as editor. The massive (2400 pages) anthology published by Springer Reference is “the first reference work in English that comprehensively looks at psychological topics from critical as … Continue reading

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Lois Holzman named series editor for Palgrave Studies on Play, Performance, Learning and Development

Institute director Lois Holzman was recently named series editor for a new collection of books — the Palgrave Studies in Play, Performance, Learning and Development.  In announcing the new series, Palgrave Macmillan describes it as “a needed home for cross-disciplinary scholarship linking play and performance … Continue reading

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Christine LaCerva and Paul Carlin to present @ ‘Beyond the Therapeutic State’ in Norway

Social Therapy Group director Christine LaCerva and Enerhaugen Family Counselling Services clinical psychologist Paul Carlin will be presenters at Beyond the Therapeutic State (Collaborative Practices for Individual and Social Change) in Drammen, Norway in June. The conference will draw participants from across the world who are … Continue reading

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Sanjay Kumar’s Pandies Theatre featured in TDR (The Drama Review)

International Class (2012) alumnus Sanjay Kumar has a new article in the Winter 2013 issue of TDR (The Drama Review) entitled, Performing on the Platform:  Creating Theatre with India’s Platform Children. TDR is the prestigious performance studies journal edited by Richard Schechner, one of the pioneers of the … Continue reading

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Conversation w Peter Smagorinsky Launches ‘Making a Conceptual Revolution’ Salon

The Institute welcomed  Peter Smagorinsky, Distinguished Research Professor in English Education at the University of Georgia, to New York for a salon-style conversation with Institute director Lois Holzman and a diverse audience of invited guests.  In introducing Smagorinsky, Holzman noted: Peter has taken … Continue reading

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Social Therapy Group Joins the National Dialogue on Mental Health

In response to the White House’s efforts to advance a national dialogue on mental health, The Social Therapy Group in New York, the Atlanta Center for Social Therapy and the Philadelphia Social Therapy Group will host an online community conversation on mental … Continue reading

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Play Day! Holzman to present at TedXNavesink

Lois Holzman will be a featured speaker at the upcoming TedX Navesink in Red Bank, N.J., May 10. It’s a day-long forum featuring several dozen presentations and entertainment dedicated to exploring the power and potential of PLAY!   Here’s how Lois describes her talk … Continue reading

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Raquell Holmes’ ImprovScience featured in Nature Magazine

Dr. Raquell Holmes, an International Class alumna and  cell biologist, was featured this month in the prestigious international science journal Nature in an article entitled Spontaneous Science.  Raquell’s innovative work to introduce improvisation and collaborative inquiry to the “hard sciences” is featured alongside Alan Alda’s efforts to shepherd the teaching … Continue reading

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Holzman’s “The Overweight Brain” makes online debut

Lois Holzman’s latest book project — The Overweight Brain: How Our Obsession with Knowing Keeps Us from Getting Smart Enough to Make a Better World — made its online debut at LoisHolzman.org with the publication of a provocative first installment. Conceived as … Continue reading

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Dan Friedman to join international playwriting project in Europe: One Land, Many Faces

This just in from Castillo Theatre artistic director and Institute faculty Dan Friedman…  Dan is among six playwrights from as many countries who will travel to Berlin and Budapest in December to take part in an international theatre project called One Land/Many Faces. It’s organized by … Continue reading

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Jeff Smithson at Ted-X: “Our body is a mouth that never stops talking”

Take a look at this video clip of a mesmerizing Ted-X performance by Institute faculty and clowning impresario Jeff Smithson.  An alumnus of the Ringling Bros. Barnum & Bailey Clown College and advocate for the power of play and performance everywhere, Jeff has brought his skills at pantomime, … Continue reading

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Architect Douglas Balder wins AIA award for All Stars Project Newark center

All Stars Project National Board Member and Institute faculty Douglas Balder received a silver medal from the American Institute of Architects’ Newark and Suburban Design Awards  for his inspired design of the All Stars Project of New Jersey Scott Flamm Center for Afterschool Development located … Continue reading

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New International Class makes first visit to NYC

The Institute welcomed its 2013-2014 International Class, which gathered in New York City for a week of whirlwind activity. The smiling faces in the photo above belong to (front row, l. to r.) Jelena Aleksic (Serbia), Ksenija Milic (Serbia), Lois Holzman (ESI director, NYC), … Continue reading

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Japan study group performs Holzman’s ‘Vygotsky at Work and Play’

This just in from our colleague in Japan —  developmental psychology professor Yuji Moro at the University of Tsukuba.  Dr. Moro reports that he has organized a reading group to study Lois Holzman’s 2011 text, Vygotsky at Work and Play. The … Continue reading

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Violence or tolerance? New book looks at conflict as opportunity for development

This just in from our International Class colleague (class of 2013) Jorge Burciaga Montoya @jorgeburciaga:  The Universidad Autónoma de Ciudad Juarez hosted a book publishing party last week for (another) International Class alumnus Miguel Cortés Vázquez (class of 2008) and co-author and colleague Teresa Almada … Continue reading

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LaCerva and Lobman to present at ‘Psychology and the Other’

Social Therapy Group director Christine LaCerva and Institute pedagogy director and Rutgers U. associate professor Carrie Lobman will present at the third annual Psychology and the Other conference at Lesley University next month. The event is expected to draw several hundred mostly psychodynamically oriented psychologists, psychoanalysts, psychiatrists, social workers, philosophers, sociologists, … Continue reading

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Fulani and Massad help community develop beyond diabetes

Health care advocate Chermerdene Jordan writes in the Huffington Post this week about  Performing and Developing Beyond Diabetes — a promising, grassroots community health initiative, spearheaded by Lenora Fulani, Ph.D. and Susan Massad, M.D.  Dr. Fulani is the dean of UX, the All Stars Project’s free school of continuing development for … Continue reading

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Community speaks-out on Psychiatric Diagnoses at Harlem Week

The Institute and Social Therapy Group  were out with 12 volunteers talking to strollers at the Harlem Week street fair and conducting a community poll on people’s attitudes toward psychiatric diagnosis and labeling.  Gwen Lowenheim (pictured above l. with volunteer … Continue reading

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Helping Aboriginal Kids Tell Their Stories with Video

We hear from International Class (2007) alumna, educator and creative spirit Julie Vaudrin-Charette that she recently keynoted at The International Conference on Experiential Learning in Lima, Peru, where conference-goers focused on the role of cultural diversity in experiential learning. Take a look at … Continue reading

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Summer Interns explore social therapeutics

For another productive summer, the East Side Institute and Social Therapy Group welcomed a cosmopolitan class of summer interns, representing a variety of cultural backgrounds and coming from colleges in the Bronx, Massachusetts, Louisiana, the UK and Spain. Over the course the six … Continue reading

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Lev Vygotsky Revolutionary Scientist is a Classic (edition)

Twenty years after its debut, Fred Newman’s and Lois Holzman’s 1993 title, Lev Vygotsky: Revolutionary Scientist, has been published by Psychology Press as a Classic Edition — i.e., among a series of psychology texts designed to present “fundamental ideas to a new generation.” The … Continue reading

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Dr. Tony Perone: Imaginative Play Is Key in Adults’ Development

Congratulations to Institute colleague, educator and performer/improviser par excellence, Tony Perone for successfully defending his doctoral thesis in May.   His dissertation—entitled The Presence and Significance of Imaginative Play in the Lives of Mexican-Americans and conducted under the supervision of Dr. Artin Goncu—earned him a Ph.D. in Educational Psychology … Continue reading

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Japanese colleagues try out performance of revolutionary conversationalists

Thirteen educators, psychologists, researchers and graduate students from universities across Japan recently completed a two-month online seminar with Lois Holzman, in which they pursued the study of performatory, developmental methodology and its Vygotskian roots. Entitled, Social Therapeutics: Breaking Through Alienation and Reinitiating Development, the course … Continue reading

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Lobman in Vilnius, Lithuania, finds kindred (play and performance) spirits

  At the invitation of faculty Milda Bredekyte and Pentti Hakkarainen, the Institute’s director of pedagogy Carrie Lobman led a week-long series of trainings on new approaches to play and performance at the Vilnius Pedagogical Institute and at an off-campus educational retreat for the Productive … Continue reading

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Syed Mizanur Rahman reports on Daffodil U. expansion in Dhaka

Here’s a report  from International Class (2007) alumnus Syed Mizanur Rahman, Director of Student Affairs and the Department of Journalism & Mass Communication at Daffodil International University in Dhaka, Bangladesh. The university recently completed construction of a permanent campus outside the city. Syed presided over the … Continue reading

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LaCerva to practitioners: It’s all about developing the therapeutic relationship

Twelve therapists, educators and personal coaches from NY, NJ, Massachusetts and Taiwan, joined the Institute’s Director of Clinical Training Christine LaCerva at the Social Therapy Group in Fort Greene, Brooklyn, for a day-long workout for practitioners focused on “developing the therapeutic relationship.” LaCerva, … Continue reading

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Inquisitive Visitors “Discover Development” in NYC

Eight new friends hailing from Georgia, Michigan, New York, Pennsylvania and the Netherlands spent three days in NYC as part of an immersive course of study, observation and play led by Institute director Lois Holzman (second from r., above).  Dubbed Discover … Continue reading

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Vygotskians CHAT @ AERA Professional Development Course

Institute director of pedagogy and Rutgers University faculty Carrie Lobman co-led a professional development and training course entitled, Cultural Historical Activity Theory Methodologies in the 21st Century: The Intersections of Theory, Research, Policy and Praxis at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (AERA) in San Francisco. Lobman is co-Program … Continue reading

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Fulani, Holzman address subjective side of poverty @ AERA

Nearly 15,000 educational researchers gathered in San Francisco at the annual meeting of the American Educational Research Association to grapple with issues of Education and Poverty (the conference theme). A highlight of the meeting was a special presidential session organized and … Continue reading

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Ctty Meeting & Fundraiser caps spring fundraising drive

The Institute celebrated an annual rite of spring with its 6th annual Community Meeting and Fundraiser.   The festive gathering — a hallmark of the Institute’s financial independence — brought together 75+ shareholders and friends along with new colleagues and supporters.  The fundraising event … Continue reading

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Holzman @ Psychology Today: “Become a Vygotskian”

Institute director Lois Holzman is now blogging on Psychology Today as one of the publication’s roster of expert psychologists. Her new blog, entitled, A Conceptual Revolution (The Creative Side of Culture Change), offers a postmodern, methodological and performatory twist to … Continue reading

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Jennifer Bullock and Murray Dabby: Teaching “Good Therapists” to Be Better

Atlanta Center for Social Therapy director Murray Dabby and Philadelphia Social Therapy Group director Jennifer Bullock teamed up to lead a national web-conference with about 80  clinicians — all members of the GoodTherapy.org network. Entitled, Why Group Therapy: Going From Fixing Problems to Creating Possibilities, the conversation … Continue reading

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Visiting scholar Ananta Kumar Giri presents “aesthetic of togetherness”

In the space of an emotionally nurturing community, we create a new view of the world…We must develop the aesthetic of building connections/relationship, togetherness…Ananta Giri At the invitation of Lois Holzman, Institute faculty, staff and members of the Developmental Philosophy Group … Continue reading

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Carrie Lobman + Tony Perone: Play Movement Is Alive and Kicking

Carrie Lobman reports @ Improvisational Learning.org on her work at the joint meetings of  The Association for the Study of Play and the International Play Association in Newark, Delaware. Teaming-up with Chicago-based improv artist and educator Tony Perone,  Carrie led a session titled, Revolutions in Play: Advocacy, Research, … Continue reading

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Holzman and Gildin to address educational innovators in Singapore

Institute director Lois Holzman and All Stars Project VP for Education Initiatives Bonny Gildin, are invited presenters at the Redesigning Pedagogy International Conference in the Republic of Singapore, June 3-5, sponsored by the National Institute of Education (NIE). Holzman and Gildin will be joined by … Continue reading

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International Class fellow, Jorge Burciaga, brings performance to educators in Chihuahua

International Class fellow, Jorge Burciaga recently led a seminar on best practices in Community Education with educators working in very poor communities across the State of Chihuahua, Mexico.  The course was sponsored by the National Council for Educational Development and was designed by Jorge to introduce educators to … Continue reading

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Therapy Play @ American Academy of Psychotherapists

Atlanta-based social therapist, Murray Dabby, led a “therapy play” at recent meetings of the national conference of the American Academy of Psychotherapists, themed:  The Core of Psychotherapy.  His popular workshop, entitled, The Therapy Play, cast 35 clinicians into the role of collective therapist, as a single … Continue reading

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8 Students from Japan to South Africa join a postmodern psychology play

How do you teach a postmodern psychology? Or more specifically, how do you design a seminar to engage the foundations, politics, philosophy and community-based applications of the social therapeutic approach? (Presumably, pop quizzes and multiple-choice tests are out…) Institute faculty Lois … Continue reading

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Performance of a Lifetime’s Cathy Salit Featured in Daniel Pink’s “To Sell Is Human”

Performance of a Lifetime CEO Cathy Salit is featured in best-selling author Dan Pink’s new book, To Sell Is Human:  The Surprising Truth About Moving Others. In this, his fourth book on transforming the workplace, Pink devotes a chapter to the importance … Continue reading

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The Therapeutic Power of Performance — watch the video

Lois Holzman blogs about The Therapeutic Power of Performance — the subject of a special plenary session at Performing the World 2012:  Can Performance Change Save the World featuring Hector Aristizabal, Lenora Fulani, Artin Göncü, Lin Ching-Hsia,  Christine LaCerva and Charles Rojzman. Says Holzman: I live performance and … Continue reading

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Jim Martinez brings NYIT science students to Harlem classrooms

New York Institute of Technology Assistant Professor of Instructional Technology and Institute faculty Jim Martinez engineered an innovative educational program that brought 23 of his NYIT science and technology students to Harlem’s P.S. 241. His students provided professional development for the Harlem … Continue reading

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Rutgers Partners with All Stars Project to Advance Developmental Afterschool

Rutgers Graduate School of Education (GSE) announced Friday a partnership with the All Stars Project, Inc. to develop initiatives dedicated to afterschool programming. For 30 years, All Stars has opened afterschool developmental programs for youth living in urban areas across … Continue reading

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“Fulani’s Tools and Results” by Omar Ali appears in journal Palimpsest

Palimpsest, a Journal of Women, Gender and the Black International published an article by colleague Omar Ali entitled, Fulani’s Tools and Results: Development as Black Empowerment?  The piece introduces All Stars Project co-founder and Institute faculty Lenora Fulani and examines her social therapeutic approach … Continue reading

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Lenora Fulani: Communities coming to learn, “we’re poor”

Institute faculty, All Stars Project co-founder and UX dean, Dr. Lenora B. Fulani led a special forum on Growing Up Poor:  Breakthroughs in Confronting the Subjective Side of Poverty.  Fulani’s presentation touched on DuBois’ concept of the “color line” and introduced her … Continue reading

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Playing with Everything

Carrie Lobman writes at ImprovisationalLearning.org about a recent Revolutionary Conversation she led, entitled: The Play Revolution: Practice, Research and Policy, which investigated what’s new and emerging in the field of play (see: John Bohannon who invites academics to replace Powerpoints with dance; Caine … Continue reading

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Holmes introduces improv to Harvard grad students

Dr. Raquell Holmes, a graduate of The International Class in 2011, recently led a professional development workshop with grad students in the Systems Biology research program at Harvard University. The workshop — which introduced performance and improvisation as a modality … Continue reading

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Volker Bunzendahl: Performing Hope in an Alienated World

Read Lois Holzman’s loving obituary for longtime friend,  Volker Bunzendahl… November 19, 2012 This morning I learned that a dear friend of mine passed away last week. Volker was an exuberant  and passionate psychologist and human being… He will be … Continue reading

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Performance as Social Activism at Performing the World

Guest post submitted by Performing the World participant: Lauren Jacobs The seventh Performing the World Conference, convened by the All Stars Project and the East Side Institute, October 4-7, attracted 450+ performance advocates from 37 countries to the  All Stars Headquarters … Continue reading

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Steve Duncan goes underground at Performance of a Lifetime seminar

Performance of a Lifetime hosted a by-invitation seminar, “Innovations in Development” which featured urban historian and photographer Steve Duncan (center).  Steve’s presentation, “Going Places You’re Not Supposed to Go,” featured an array of starkly beautiful photos (see more at UnderCity.org) taken in sewer systems … Continue reading

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International Class 2012-13: Playful, philosophical agents of social change

On the heels of Performing the World, October 4-7,  and vibrant conversations on performance and social change, the Institute’s 2012-2013 International Class convened in New York City for the first of three residencies.  Members of this playful and passionate class of … Continue reading

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Christine LaCerva presents on clinical work with families + children

Christine La Cerva, Director of the Social Therapy Group, will host a four-week online seminar for therapists, educators and parents entitled “Therapy Play with Children and Families.” Using interviews, unpublished case study materials and notes from supervisory sessions, Christine will introduce … Continue reading

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UNC Executive Development white paper features Performance of a Lifetime

The consulting firm Performance of a Lifetime (POAL) is featured in a new white paper published by UNC’s Kenan-Flagler Business School entitled,  Leadership Agility: Using Improv to Build Critical Skills. Authored by Kip Kelly, Director of Marketing & Business Development for UNC’s Executive Development, the paper points to innovators … Continue reading

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Steve & Mary Alice host PTW sneak preview with Lobman and Sutherland

Blog Talk Radio hosts and play mavens, Steve Dahlberg and Mary Alice Long, Ph.D., celebrated the two-year anniversary of their show, Creativity in Play with a special “Sneak Preview” of Performing the World 2012 (PTW). The September 25 show features interviews on … Continue reading

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Crazytown creator, Jude Treder-Wolff, interviews Carrie Lobman

Creative arts therapist and performance artist, Jude Treder-Wolff interviewed the Institute’s Carrie Lobman, for a column, entitled: The Radical Collaboration Made Possible Through Play, which appeared on the online news hub, Long Island Inter-personal Relationships Examiner.  Treder-Wolff is the creator of the one-woman show, Crazytown, and … Continue reading

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Performance of a Lifetime exec, Maureen Kelly, to teach improv workshop

Institute faculty, Maureen Kelly, a principal at organizational-change firm Performance of a Lifetime, will lead a special two-part, interactive workshop for coaches, teachers, facilitators (and anyone who works with groups), entitled, “Let’s Improvise!” Planned for Wed. evenings, Sept. 26 and Oct. … Continue reading

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Social Therapy at Harlem Week

A team of 18 Institute and Social Therapy Group staff, faculty and volunteers participated in Harlem Week festivities on August 19, creating a stage for some good conversation about emotional development as a critical issue for our communities. The team … Continue reading

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Lois Holzman travels to Japan as guest faculty

At the invitation of colleague Professor Yuji Moro, Institute director Lois Holzman will visit Japan August 24 through September 3, where she will lead the  Japanese Society of Developmental Psychology‘s  International Workshop,  deliver a keynote  at the Annual Meeting of the  Japanese Association of  Qualitative … Continue reading

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Marxist psychologists in Mexico: Energized and disgruntled

In a recent post, Lois Holzman reports on the 2nd Marxism and Psychology Conference in Morelia, Mexico, where she presented along with colleagues Wellington de Oliveira (São Paulo) and Miguel Cortés and Jorge Burciaga (from Juárez, Mexico) on,  From Critical to Practical-Critical Psychology: Activating and Developing People and Community in … Continue reading

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Cathy Salit leads performance workshop in Johannesburg, South Africa

  At the invitation of Betsi Pendry (third row, yellow scarf),  ESI faculty and Performance of a Lifetime CEO Cathy Rose Salit (second row, center), led a workshop at the University of Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, South Africa with students, faculty and facilitators from Drama for … Continue reading

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Human Development as ‘Resistance’

Lois Holzman will travel to the central Mexican city of Morelia to participate in the 2nd Marxism and Psychology Conference, August 9-11.  She will be a discussant at two plenary sessions: Marxism, Subjectivity and Cultural-Historical Psychology, and Psychology, Marxism and New Forms of … Continue reading

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Summer Interns hit the streets

The Institute and the Social Therapy Group welcomed over a dozen interns this summer, coming to NYC from colleges in New York, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, South Carolina and Denmark.  One of their first assignments was to ‘hit the streets’ at NYC’s … Continue reading

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Richard Schechner, Leader in Avant-Garde and Political Theatre, to Present at PTW 2012

Richard Schechner — a leader in American avant-garde and political theatre, editor of The Drama Review and founder of the performance studies program at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts will be among the 100+ presenters and workshop leaders at Performing … Continue reading

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More Scientists at Play (Is this a trend?)

Conversations on the value of play continue to cross boundaries of all kinds—age, academic discipline, science and art, scholar and practitioner. Social worker Helen Abel and life performance coach Randy Wilson — both on staff at San Francisco’s Life Performance Coaching Center — … Continue reading

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Fulani and Frazier: Postmodern Freedom Riders

Faculty and longtime community organizers Lenora Fulani and Alvaader Frazier completed a four-week Revolutionary Conversation entitled Postmodern Freedom Riders, which brought together 45 participants from across New York City to discuss the history and evolution of the fight for civil rights and democracy.  The multi-racial class included high … Continue reading

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Students at St. Francis de Sales School for the Deaf perform “Annie”

Carrie Lobman at ImprovisationalLearning.org reports on a youth theatre performance that she attended at the invitation of colleague Anne Alexis at St Francis de Sales School for the Deaf. Anne has studied social therapeutics for years and has creatively incorporated a performance orientation … Continue reading

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Otto Award Winner Hector Aristizábal explores therapeutic power of performance

Lois Holzman greeted 2012 Otto Award winner Hector Aristizábal at a reception for the honorees at the Castillo Theatre (above).  Aristizábal, a Colombian psychologist and founder of Los Angeles-based ImaginAction, uses performance and theatre games to help people deal with trauma. In accepting his award, he shared with the … Continue reading

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The Miracle Project — Not Acting Normal

Carrie Lobman reports on meeting The Miracle Project… Last night I saw a funny, touching and creative piece of theater called A Brief History of All Things performed by the Miracle Project Players, a theater group made up of children and teens with autism, special … Continue reading

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Alex Sutherland leads prison performances in South Africa

Alex Sutherland reports on her work in the local prison in Grahamstown South Africa, where she leads weekly theatre-making workshops. Andile (shown above rehearsing with the Ubom drama company) had been a member of the prison performance ensemble since the group formed … Continue reading

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“Discursive Perspectives in Therapeutic Practice,” alternatives to medical psychiatry

Andy Lock and Tom Strong’s new book, Discursive Perspectives in Therapeutic Practice is hot off the presses. It includes a chapter by Lois Holzman and Fred Newman, Activity and performance (and their discourses) in social therapeutic method. Other featured authors include: Kenneth J. … Continue reading

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Mary Fridley and Marian Rich perform how laughing matters

Marian Rich and Mary Fridley’s workshop this past weekend, Laughing Matters:  A Playful/Philosophical Approach to Creating Humor, drew 25 people interested in learning to create environments to bring more humor, laughter and lightness into their lives. (No small feat!) “We … Continue reading

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Gil Eyal, Lois Holzman, Christine LaCerva to discuss human cost of diagnosis

On Friday, June 8, the Institute will host a conversation with Columbia University sociologist Gil Eyal, developmental psychologist Lois Holzman and social therapist Christine LaCerva , to address the Human Cost of Diagnosis. What are the history, politics and economics of diagnoses? Where is … Continue reading

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Lobman and Lowenheim Lead Symposium on Teaching Adults

Faculty Carrie Lobman, Ed.D., and Gwen Lowenheim led a symposium on Teaching Adults, attended by adult educators who teach in universities, community based organizations, language schools, hospitals and corporate education programs. Workshop participants performed as both learners and teachers in the course of … Continue reading

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Andrew Burton’s Street Spirits Theatre Wins Arts Advocacy Award

Canada’s Street Spirits Theatre company was presented with the Arts Advocacy Award by the Regional Arts Council in Prince George British Columbia for their work in promoting the arts. The youth driven, social action theatre company was founded by Andrew Burton, a member … Continue reading

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Open House Features a Performance of Social Therapy

The Social Therapy Group hosted an Open House at its community center in Fort Greene, Brooklyn. Thirty people attended, including members of the Students and Professionals in Mental Health Meetup.  By way of introduction, Institute faculty member Hugh Polk, M.D., asked members of … Continue reading

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Two weeks to grieve, says DSM-5

Arizona State University professor and researcher Dr. Joanne Cacciatore challenges proposed changes to the “bereavement exclusion,” in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5), which establishes the (normal) amount of time you’re allowed to grieve the loss of a loved … Continue reading

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San Francisco Rock Stars

San Francisco’s Life Performance Coaching Center hosted an improvisational play workshop — Did You Ever Want to Be A Rock Star? — led by life coach Helen Abel and (real-life rock singer) Sean Garrett. Participants sang, clapped and played musical instruments. Says Abel, “We succeeded in … Continue reading

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Lois Holzman @ TEDMED: Deciding What’s Normal

Lois Holzman will be among 50 “Challenge Advocates” at TEDMED 2012 at the Kennedy Center, April 10-13th. Advocates will lobby the 1000+ participants around the “50 Great Challenges in Health and Medicine.” Holzman’s specific challenge:  Deciding What’s Normal.  READ MORE Here’s how … Continue reading

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Global Summit on Childhood Tackles the “Play Crisis”

Carrie Lobman addressed the Global Summit on Childhood sponsored by the Association for Childhood Education International in Washington, D.C., which drew 600 participants from 70 nations — advocates, social-entrepreneurs, scholar-practitioners. Many are advancing creative ways to support the healthy development of young people. The importance … Continue reading

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Holzman and Friedman Head to Scandinavia

Lois Holzman will travel to Denmark and Sweden this week to lead a series of workshops and talks organized by colleagues in the Performing the World Community. In Copenhagen, psychologist Esben Wilstrup, a 2009 graduate of the Institute’s International Class, has … Continue reading

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When I say ‘walk,’ stop!

Setting:  A library in a Connecticut maximum-security prison.  Twenty-two men in tan uniforms come to a stop in unison.  This time, when I say ‘walk,’ stop, and when I say ‘stop,’ walk.”  The men resume walking. Three correctional officers look … Continue reading

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How do we build the tallest tower in Ciudad Juárez?

Jorge Burciaga-Montoya, a recent graduate of the Institute’s Social Therapeutics Online Certificate Program, reports on how he’s been using playful games in his course in Networks and Community Systems at the Universidad Autónoma de Ciudad Juárez as part of creating a more collaborative, open learning environment. Jorge … Continue reading

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Kolkata-based therapeutic community, Turning Point, turns 14

Ishita Sanyal (a 2008 alumna of the Institute’s International Class) reports that her Kolkata-based community mental health organization, Turning Point, turned 14 this past month. The community celebrated its achievements at offering the mentally ill of Kolkata “Livelihood & Meaningful … Continue reading

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Holzman screens favorite TED Talks at UX

Everybody wanted to talk about learning environments — and how to build good ones!  Thirty-five UX students from neighborhoods across NYC joined UX Global Outreach Chair Lois Holzman for a screening of one of her favorite TED Talks by educator Sugata Mitra, entitled … Continue reading

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Cooking up a storm at improv workshop

Everyone was cooking up a storm at the “Improvisation of Dinner” workshop led by Carrie Sackett and Performance of a Lifetime’s Maureen Kelly a few weeks ago.  Designed as a playful improvisation in cooking without a recipe, small teams of participants whipped … Continue reading

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